How Not to Get Pulled over for a Traffic Ticket
There’s nothing quite like a traffic ticket to ruin your day…and your driving record, your bank account balance, and your insurance premium rates. Want to know how to avoid getting pulled over for a traffic offense? Well, the smart aleck answer is: “don’t drive” or “if you do drive, just don’t commit any infraction and obey all traffic laws.” Easier said than done. Let’s face it—even the most law-abiding, straight-shooting model citizens out there have violated a traffic law at one time or another. It’s kind of like jaywalking—we all do it, but we just don’t all get caught for it. Sure, you are probably well aware that it is against the law in Florida to speed or drive under the influence, but did you have any idea that you can be charged with a moving violation if the bumper on your personal vehicle weighing less than 2500 pounds is higher than 22 inches in the front or back (Florida Statute §316.251(1))? Likewise, did you know that it is against the law to park your vehicle within 30 feet of any rural mailbox upon any state highway in Florida between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. (Florida Statute§316.251(1))?
As you can see, “just don’t commit an offense” is not actionable or reasonable advice—even if you memorize all of the traffic violations contained in Florida Statute Chapter 316 and drive around town like a cop or your 11th grade driver’s ed teacher is watching over your every move, it is still inevitable that you are going to commit a infraction. Fortunately, there are many more realistic things that can be done to avoid getting pulled over for a traffic infraction.
Make sure your car is in good working order. Make sure your car looks good and operates well. Keep the car clean and make sure you do not have mirrors hanging off the doors, broken headlights, break lights or turn signal indicators, mufflers dragging on the ground, a flat tire, or smoke coming from the exhaust system.
Don’t draw attention to yourself. Keep your radio at a reasonable volume—your tunes should not be a concert for the public. Also, make sure your vehicle has all of its paperwork in order and that your tags are up to date and properly attached to your license plate (the police do check and pull people over all the time for expired tags). If your car has been damaged in any way, get it repaired before you drive it again. Avoid speed traps and DUI check points—this means that if you see a bunch of cars getting pulled over, drive the other way. Don’t look for trouble, and it won’t find you.
Be deferential and polite to law enforcement. If you do get pulled over by a police officer, don’t speak until spoken too, be polite, and avoid being argumentative, condescending, or flirtatious—your goal is to be as least memorable as possible. Do not admit to violating any laws. If the officer asks you if you know why you were pulled over, it is best to say something non-committal such as, “I’m not sure” and then wait for the officer to explain the reason. Don’t argue with his reason, either remain silent or simply say “I see” or “I understand” in response.
If you do get a ticket, call a Miami ticket attorney or a Fort Lauderdale ticket attorney to represent you in traffic court. Once your ticket is set for trial, your Miami criminal defense attorney or Broward criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Hiring an experienced attorney offers you the best chance of avoiding points on your license and traffic school.